I believe that lying to a child about fictional characters, such as: Santa, Easter Bunny, tooth fairy, etc., makes the child enjoy the holiday/event more than if there wasn’t something to believe in. The lies produced by the parents of these children can be confusing and hurtful to the children, but it may also bring out the magic in the holidays. So, how do we know what can happen when we tell these “Little White Lies” to the children we raise?
Knowing the “Santa” story can maintain a child’s innocence. Allowing them the fantasy of these stories will stimulate their imagination. Imagination is the center of any child’s soul. Maintaining the soul is hard, so in one instance lying about what’s real and what’s not is in the child’s hands allowing them the freedom of soul to take it, believe it, and run with it. Each child is different and can react to discovering the truth differently. One reaction may be losing trust in the parents or feeling betrayed, and the other may be the excitement to finally be “in the loop.”
I will talk about the positive effects of spreading the story of fictional characters first. Imagination, as stated above can be stimulated while maintaining the pretend world of the fictional characters. Each child can make up different stories while keeping the information that was given to them. A great thing is the child can believe what they want to believe. So, even if the parents decide to tell their kids about the Easter Bunny or the Sand Man, it is all up to the child whether or not it is real.
It can even be a life lesson for them. They need to learn from someone they know and love that the world isn’t just Rainbows and Butterflies, it is about not everybody being truthful. It’s a loving way of saying, “Not everybody can be trusted, even your parents lie sometimes.”
In some instances it is believed to help with their Cognitive Development. The fantasy world and reality are sometimes difficult to determine the difference. The telling of fictional stories can help a child learn the difference between reality and fiction. "The imagination is absolutely vital for contemplating reality” (Power of Magical Thinking, 3rd Paragraph, Paul Harris). In the same article it states that DR. Woolley did a study with 91 children asking whether they believe Santa or the Garbage man is...